Will Glass and Zachary Mexico met at boarding school in Massachusetts at the end of the twentieth century. They huddled together in dorm rooms, late at night, drinking from warm forties of St. Ides and handles of illegal Captain Morgan, listening to Motown, “Astral Weeks,” Guided by Voices, Dead Kennedys, and the Grateful Dead.
Time passed and life came calling. Will Glass went to Montreal and played with everyone in town, in the scene centered around Constellation Records and godspeed! you black emperor. Zachary Mexico moved to New York City and started a band, then got sick of the heavy post 9/11 vibes and moved to southwest China to open a bar.
In 2004, they returned to NYC and met up with bass player the Bunny. Over the next few years, they released two albums, “The Octagon” and “Nothing But Change,” played a bunch of shows, went on tour.
Then Mexico went back to China—where he still spends part of the year--to write his first book, “China Underground” (Soft Skull Press, 2009) which would later become a bestseller in Singapore. Glass went on the road as the touring drummer for the Dirty Projectors. The Bunny languished in Williamsburg, spending his days begging for money outside the Bedford Avenue L stop to support his gourmet sandwich habit.
And then in the dark winter days of February 2009, they all got back together and worked on a new batch of songs. Instead of going into a recording studio, the Octagon retreated to their dimly lit practice space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and, under the lo-fi recording expertise of drummer/producer/engineer Will Glass, spent three days laying down thirty tunes to analog cassette tape on two Tascam 4-track recorders.
They mixed the tracks down with Travis Harrison at Serious Business Records in lower Manhattan then sent along the results of the session to a few trusted friends. “We wanted to see if there were certain songs people really felt a connection to,” says Zachary Mexico. “When you’re the people writing the tunes, they are so close to you that it’s hard to tell what other people are going to dig.” With the input of this circle of colleagues, the band chose sixteen songs to make up “Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever.” And the album sounds great: Mexico’s Fender Mustang is warm, Bunny’s bass full, and the superb jazz-inflected drumming of Will Glass sounds clean and crisp.
Mexico sings lead vocals on the tracks he wrote, and Glass on the tracks he wrote. But everyone’s singing at the same time, most of the time. The songs are concise bursts of energy – short and to the point, expressing singular musical and emotional ideas. The tunes are poppy, and the energy punky; the band blends their gift for penning simple, catchy melodies with a tendency towards noise and sonic/structural experimentation – the reinvention of the pop framework to make it something unmistakably their own.
The themes addressed on the record include: the pressures of getting older, the truth of eventually dying, the relationship between humans and nature, the beauty of life, the sadness of poverty and cruelty, the death of family, friends, and other loved ones, the perfection of the world, and that old standby, love.
1.5 Philadelphia, PA The Fire
1.6 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
1.7 Washington, DC Black Cat w/Capstan Shafts
1.8 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
1.9 Richmond, VA Plaza Bowl
1.10 Asheville, NC Bobo Gallery
1.11 Knoxville, TN Pilot Light
1.12 Nashville, TN The Basement
1.13 Little Rock, AR Whitewater Tavern
1.14 St. Louis, MO Antarctica
1.15 Champaign, IL Mike and Molly's
1.16 Chicago, IL Elbo Room
1.17 Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern w/Rural Alberta Advantage
1.18 Columbus, OH Carabar
1.22 Brooklyn, NY Bruar Falls: album release party w/Hexa, Doug Gillard (GBV)
Higgins and Benji Cossa Wish You a Merry Christmas. SAT DEC 19 in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Higgins and Benji Cossa Wish You a Merry Christmas
December 19, 2009 6:00 PM @ Bait and Tackle
GREAT LOCAL RED HOOK VENUE Bait and Tackle hosts a night of serious holiday business.
BENJI COSSA and the KEY PLAYERS
The night is free free free. We are going to rock the scrooge right out of you.
To get you in the Christmas spirit, listen to Benji Cossa's Christmas album entited Merry Christmas to Friends and Family, Love Benji Cossa. We originally released that in 2007. We gave it away for free. It's the spirit of Christmas. You give people shit. And we are still giving away this delicious 4-track fare from the KING OF SONG, Mr. Benji Cossa who has limitless Christmas spirit, giving it directly to you now as a wonderful Christmas gift.
Guess what? Higgins has a sweet ass original Christmas song called "Get Your X-Mas On" and Benji has one too called "Christmas (It's the Best Time of the Year") and we're gonna drop that stuff on your face over the next week so stay tuned to this happy channel. M'kay?
OK here Higgins - Get Your X-Mas On! by seriousbusiness
Benji Cossa has unearthed two lo-fi gems for an Ampeater digital 7-inch
Ampeater writes: Benji Cossa was once called “The King of Song” by Bjorn Copeland of the Black Dice. Other people that have been referred to as musical royalty include: Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, not to mention Queens Aretha and Latifah, Ozzy the Prince of Darkness, and just plain old Prince–all popular artists that achieved massive radio success. Cossa heard his song played on the radio too. Once. He recalls, “They played ‘April’ on WFMU and I missed it. I didn’t know it would be on, but I turned on the radio and heard my name. It was exciting.”Benji Cossa, like many truly great songwriters, doesn’t “write” songs in an active sense of the word. They just seem to spill out by the dozens–on train rides, at work, all the time. It’s remarkable, and it’s genuine. That isn’t to say that he doesn’t work hard. He’s a craftsman, and he’s very serious about his work. The man’s prolific, but only a small cult of friends and fans can say that they’ve heard even one of his thousands of original compositions...(read more)
See Benji Cossa perform with his latest all-star band of in demand musical killers the Key Players along with Serious Business comrades Higgins. Here's the info.
Benji Cossa and the Key Players
Wish You a Merry Christmas
Sat Deb 19
Bait and Tackle
320 Van Brunt St. Red Hook, Brooklyn Join the Facebook event
Digital release date: Jan 12, 2010
Pre-orders for the CD will be shipped right away
That The Two Man Gentlemen Band is amongst the nation's most learned, sophisticated, and musically able two-man bands is commonly understood. That they throw one heck of a party has been a rather well-kept secret until now!
The Two Man Gentlemen Band: Live in New York! is an unparalleled achievement. Using only four hands, two mouths, a bit of erudition, and a strong helping of the drink, the gents whip themselves and their New York City audience into an unmitigated frenzy of joy. Listeners to this recording will likely find themselves in a similarly frenzied, sweat-riddled state.
Surely, two-man music enthusiasts, aspiring two-man bands, and lovers of all entertainment will study The Two Man Gentlemen Band: Live in New York for years to come. Is it possible, they will ask, for a humble two-man band to put on a perfectly riotous musical party? The answer, this recording shows us, is most assuredly...YES!
Produced, mixed, and mastered by Richard Morris
Recorded by Richard Morris and Travis Harrison at Serious Business Music on June 18, 2009
Photography by Punam Bean
Design by Andy Bean and Ben Heller
This live recording was witnessed by the following persons:
Matthew Abrahams / Deidre Levesque / Rebecca Harrison / Pennylane Shen / Michelle and Bill Bienes / Astrid and Jim Reedy / Benjamin Sage / Luke Koz / Jarrod Zayas / Mandy Doherty / Barkley Heuser / Kristen Keller / Matt Jones / Morgan Whitcomb / Shira Burton / Dave Smar / Alison Schary / Claire Schmitt / Steve Mague / Andrew Ferreira / Nikki Romano / Brian Bader / Amanda Duncan / Don Spiro / Diane Naegel / Rachel Tanner / Justine S. Duffin / Caitlin Miner-LeGrand / Sammo! / Julie DiDonna / Mark Allison / Jack Schursky / Darcy Heuser / Allan Roth / Alicia Rae Blegen / Ivy K. Marvel / The Minsky Sisters / Joanna Burns / Punam Bean / Brian Kantor / Kara Smith / Liz Babish / Jenna Morris / Bill Seidenzahl
Watch the Gents perform "Fancy Beer." The Fancy video was shot and edited courtesy of Jeremiah McVay. This isn't as good as actually being there. But it is close. Would you be interested in a DVD release of this entire performance? Tell us !
Do you want to see a vinyl pressing of this release? Tell us !
Did you attend this event? Do you have photos, video? Let us know!
The Unsacred Hearts have premiered two new songs as a digital 7-inch on The Ampeater Review
The original Unsacred Hearts formula was a simple one: bang it out fast and loud, rely heavily on frequent references (both lyrical and musical) to the rock ‘n roll music that they worshipped, and drink as much beer as possible all the time. In striving to be equal parts Bruce Springsteen, Robert Pollard, and Lou Reed, the Unsacred Hearts succeeded in creating something that’s entirely their own...(read more)
French Buskers Cover The Two Man Gentlemen Band's "William Howard Taft"
As you all know, The 'Gents are taking the rest of the year to relax and refresh until they hit it hard in 2010, but in the meantime, some French musicians have taken up the torch. Bless their French hearts.
P.S. ---> Any day now, we'll be dropping a release date, tracklist, and pre-order for the Two Man Gentlemen Band's first ever live album (and their fifth Serious Business long player) Live in New York (SBR39).
SAADI Does"Daddy, You Been On My Mind" Live on Sirius, Wows @ Mercury, Debut 12" Imminent.
For those of you who missed out, SAADI put on a smashing performance at Mercury Lounge last week. Bowery Presents' blog caught the show and wrote: "One of the opening bands, SAADI, which had only played a handful of shows together, stunned the early crowd with a tightly executed mix of poppy vocals and ambient guitar. A great rhythm section in Marcus Farrar on drums and AJ Lambert on bass backed lead singer Boshra AlSaadi’s quirky stage presence. SAADI’s exceptionally well-written music showed promise that will certainly pay off for them as an up-and-coming band."
Also Boshra's just did her sweet and haunting Bob Dylan cover "Daddy, You Been On My Mind" on AJ's Sirius radio show. The show's called Seriously Sinatra and this episode will air both Friday November 27th and Tuesday December 1st from 10-12 EST (7-9 PST). Tune in!
Also, below take a minute and listen to the "studio" version of the track, to appear on Saadi's forthcoming Serious Business 12" EP Bad City (SBR42). The word studio appears in"quotation marks" above because, while Boshra recorded the song at Travis' fancy Serious Business studio, all the tracking was done in the tiled men's room, mere feet from a frequently broken toilet.
Two Man Gentlemen Band goes to SPACE. Good time had by all
Our beloved 'gents recently played their debut show at SPACE Gallery in Portland, ME and the fine state of Maine welcomed them with open arms. The SPACE blog kindly wrote:
"As promised, New York City’s premier two-man band, The Two Man Gentlemen Band, entertained a large crowd despite quite a downpour here at SPACE on Saturday. They taught us some awfully complicated dance moves, instructed us on the fine art of singing along, and even gave a bit of a math lesson regarding prime numbers. The two gents remarked that it was by far the finest state debut they’ve ever had, so let’s hope that they’ll come back for another visit soon!"
Big, BIG things happening over in the Serious Business IT department, the first of which is SoundCloud. What, you haven't heard about Soundcloud? It's the new Facebook/Sendspace/Twitter/Hype Machine! You can listen to all 3 Serious Business FREE EPs on our profile, as well as single tracks from our "Extra Business" section. They use this super cool waveform player...anyways, it's great. You should check it out.
Saadi (with Greensburg (PA) born lead singer Boshra Al Saadi pictured above) concocts a quietly subtle mash-up of ethereal, lullaby vocals and lyrics, tape loops and spaced out electronic percussion. You can dance AND be soothed to sleep with their track “Pollen Seeking Bees” from the Bad City EP, which evokes a fragile, ghost-like persona that AlSaadi easily embodies. After the break from the first chorus, she coos “am I just in…pixels?/songs you know would ke-eep/fading into ether…fading into ether.”
The Bad City 12" which as of now will almost certainly be pressed on WHITE VINYL (holy shit) is being mastered as we speak. Release date t/b/a but we're thinking March.
1. Bad City
2. Bad City (Serious Business Remix)
1. Pollen Seeking Bees
3. Daddy You Been On My Mind